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December 11, 2015 by Bob Yirka report
ALMA prototype-antennas at the ALMA test facility. Credit: ESO

(—Two separate teams of researchers (one from Mexico, the other Sweden), have incited skepticism among the astronomy community by posting papers on the preprint server arXiv each describing a different large object they observed in the outer edges of the solar system. Both teams made their observations after reviewing data from ALMA—a cluster of radio dishes in the Chilean mountains.

One of the objects was found to be near W Aquilae in the night sky—the other adjacent to Alpha Centauri . Both groups report being skeptical at first regarding a faint glow, but monitored what they had seen nonetheless—to their surprise they found that the objects appeared to move relative to the stars behind them, which suggested they might be relatively close and that they might be orbiting the sun. Neither group was able to gain much evidence regarding the properties of the objects they had spied, because both of them were only able to make two observations, but both teams suggest there was enough data to allow for ruling out the object being an ordinary star.

The Swedish team nick-named the object they observed Gna, after a Nordic God known for its swiftness, and have told the press they had no intention of suggesting they had found the mythical Planet X which supposedly lies somewhere beyond Pluto. Instead they suggest it might be a large asteroid. The team from Mexico went a little further suggesting that the object they observed might possibly turn out to be a brown dwarf.


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